Tips, Food Finds, and Ideas

Last year you probably realized that at the beginning of each meeting, I would ask about the previous week.  Weight Watchers and other researchers have learned that following up on a commitment and troubleshooting the challenges and what went right/wrong is the key to lasting change and getting to our goals!  So, each week at the end of each meeting, you will think about, write down, take a picture (whatever you would like to do) to remember the small change you would like to work on for the week.  Then, the following week, we will reflect back and recognize what we learned and then move forward.  This is the way anyone is successful in anything they do.  May it be running a long distance run to practicing the piano or doing a plain ol’ math problem.  Practice makes perfect!!!  I developed this cheat sheet below to explain this.  It makes such total sense!


 Commit to small goals each week

  • Motivation
  • Momentum
  • Allows us to practice behaviors to develop/maintain
  • However, Commit is only part of the solution

Follow-Up each week:

  • How things went week before
  • Discuss what worked
  • What didn’t work

Problem-solving (troubleshooting)

  • How could it go better next time




During our meeting several weeks ago we spoke about the levels of change, we focused on how our environment can change and ultimately, change our behavior.  A member shared this awesome interview talking about just that.  It happens to be Brian Wansink.  If you remember he was in a couple of our videos we have seen in recent months in the meeting room regarding Mindless Eating.

Click here to see this news segment. Wansink-gives-tips-on-avoiding-bad-food/



You will love this link:  “13 Things Only People On Weight Watchers Understand”  Click here:



Okay, everyone, this is coming from my heart.  I have just sat hear watching a video from the holiday WW headquarters town hall.  It is about a member named Jennie, who now works for WW.  I have been sitting here watching Part 1 and Part 2 and just crying and the emotions I am feeling are just overwhelming.  It has confirmed that I am doing the job I need to be doing.  You need to watch this YouTube video.  She weighed 440 pounds and lost over 300 pounds and is 54 years old.  It took her 2 years and 4 months.  I can’t tell you how this video will inspire you.  When you are down and out, watch Jennie.  Some of her thoughts, you need to listen for:

“Scared to miss a meeting”

“Never go back”

“I didn’t have a life, but WW gave me a life”

One of her thoughts was her skin has stopped from suffocating her to being a fan!

She now walks 4.5 miles per hour and at a 15 incline!!!!!!!!!!!

“Follow the directions”

Click here to hear Part 1:

Click here to hear Part 2:

I have to thank Jennie for her inspiration!  I need to write her a note!

Also, I ran across this You Tube site developed by Weight Watchers with some unbelievable inspiring stories.  This is so much better than just the Facebook, Twitter, etc since it is a video you watch of the person.  The above story of Jennie came from this site.  Click here to pick whatever inspiration story you want to see and hear.


Halloween is coming up and candy is, well, everywhere! Check out this article for the SmartPoints values of some classic treats. Knowledge is power. Use it. Click here for a list of candy and their SmartPoints values.



Thank you to Andrea! You gave us such great information on spices and herbs.  As promised, click here and here to print her two handouts.




Thanks to Patricia for the great “Is This Food Worth It?” reminder sheet.  Everyone should carry this around with you.  Click here to download!


Here are a couple of thoughts from the presentations a few weeks ago in our meetings regarding Success Stories.  I want to say a warm thank you to all those presented!  You are an inspiration to all of us.

Joined because miserable but important to do for me and have people believe in me.

Hearing other people’s success in the meeting room, motivates me.

Just wasn’t just my eating and weight out of control, my whole life.

I don’t want to be my parents.

I knew I had to join when I winded and out of breath just walking in my house.

Feeling in control has given me my confidence back.

Maintenance is using the same tools you use when you lose.

Don’t be afraid of Lifetime and maintenance.

Lifetime is for a Lifetime!

I am always changing. But I feel more prepared.



Trust in yourself and the program

You make the choice!

Always be mindful

I look differently at foods now.

No meetings – Old habits return

Have fun with it.

Look at the little teeny changes and progress.

Meetings help me keep my head on straight!

It takes a long time to make changes

The journey has been great and the arrival will be just as great!

Can’t unlearn what I have done but I can change going forward.

Food is medicine to the body.

I always ask myself:  “Would I feed my child this or have my child skip lunch?”

Look at the graph on eTools.  As far as the weight line was going down, I was headed in the right direction.

Not only was I gaining weight but I was watching my family do the same.

Food does not have power I have the power over it.

Food is amoral.

I made less than an ideal choice.

This may have not been the best choice but it is my choice.

You can always make a better choice.

Why do we go to meetings only when we lose or doing good?

My relationship with food changes as long as I attend the meetings.

Why is it embarrassing to come back, if you gained weight.  We have all been there.

Nothing tastes as good as being thin feels.

I had to readjust my expectations of myself as I got older.

What motivated me was to look at my weight chart on eTools and see my progress has been going down.

Also, what motivates me is to look at my weight chart on eTools and see I am maintaining my goal weight for 7 years!


Simple Start is my answer for restarting and it gives me freedom.

My goal is to have the outside come closer to matching what is on the inside.

This is a journey.  Lifetime isn’t the end, it is the beginning.

I have to restart everyday.

Coming to the meetings, shows me there are others with the same goals, same issues, want to share and encourage each other.

I wasn’t sure about this at the beginning but I attended the first few meetings and after that my attitude changed for the good.

Quote:  “Stomach, you’re bored, not hungry, so shutup!”

I needed to understand I was in control of what I do.

Before WW, I would never weigh myself.  I would judge by the way my clothes felt.  If they didn’t fit, buy new clothes. Not anymore.

You can control your environment and the people around you to support with what you are doing.

It’s all about choice.

Life becoming shorter and this was too scary for me.

I love food and I had to learn not to do without, but to do with less (smaller portion).

I no longer eat the “processed” foods but eat whole foods (Power Foods).

Quote:  “Desire for food will go away except when you’re hungry.”






Hi everyone!  Hope you are all doing well and have a great week.  Ok, I have to say a huge thank you to all who participated on the panel this week.  I have to admit with all my meetings, I have never been more inspired and moved by the people who gave of their time to share their journey with us, the good and the not so good.  I think all of us can relate to each and everyone of our panelists and the struggles they incurred along with the victories.  I hope you walked away from your meeting with a small something that you can change.  (Yes, we all know it all starts with that small change!).  Please as you go through your journey, we are here for you through thick and thin!  Click (Mtg Quotes and Thoughts 11-1-13) to get a list of the quotes along with the ideas we received from all the speakers





Thank to Dawn in Olathe!  This week as we were discussing What To Have for our Lunches, she told the group about  Click here to visit the website.  If you are interested in an unique lunch experience and how to pack your lunch conveniently, this is for you!





Trader Joe’s

Here is a starter list of items found at Trader Joe’s.  As members bring in their food finds from there, I will keep adding them to this list. 


Dried Calimyrna Figs:  grown in California

Reduced Fat Guacomole

Fresh Hummus Tahini free

Champagne Pear Salad Dressing

Hummus Salad Dressing

50% Cacao Low Carb Simply Lite Sugar Free Dark Chocolate

Live Sprouted 100% Whole Wheat Bread




Many of you asked if I could give you the link to the complete plan-friendly shopping guide from Weight Watchers.  Click here to get his awesome list that will take the guesswork out of your grocery shopping.



Several weeks ago, David a Thursday member at the Prairie Village store offered to send me a copy of the weekly planning menu he developed.  He has finished and I have added the planner here.  He also mentioned he cuts off the grocery list and takes with him.  Very organized, give it a try!  Click here.




Click here for a favorite new topping of mine.  This comes from Trader Joe’s and a member brought into the meeting.  It is a grinder (just like a pepper mill grinder) but containes, sugar, chocolate, and coffee beans.  It is the absolute best on greek yogurt, toast, ice cream, etc.  Be sure to try it out.



Magic Pops – these mini flying saucers, as I refer to them!!  They come in all sorts of flavors:  Cheddar, Cinnamon, Plain, Strawberry.  These can be found at the HyVee grocery store in the health food section.  Many of you have asked how they are made, well YouTube actually has the video and click here and you can watch!


I found these in an old email I received earlier this year.  I haven’t tried some of these things, but if they work, let us know.

  • Peel a banana from the bottom and you won’t have to pick the little “stringy things” off of it.  That’s how the primates do it.
  • Take your bananas apart when you get home from the store.  If you leave them connected at the stem, they ripen faster.
  • Store your opened chunks of cheese in aluminum foil.  It will stay fresh much longer and not mold.
  • Peppers with 3 bumps on the bottom are sweeter and better for eating.  Peppers with 4 bumps on the bottom are firmer and better for cooking.
  • Add garlic immediately to a recipe if you want a light taste of garlic and at the end of the recipe if you want a stronger taste of garlic.
  • To warm biscuits, pancakes, or muffins that were refrigerated, place them in a microwave with a cup of water.  The increased moisture will keep the food moist and help it reheat faster.
  • To keep squirrels (and rabbits, we have done this) from eating your plants sprinkle your plats with cayenne pepper.  The pepper doesn’t hurt the plant and the squirrels won’t come near it.
  • Pin a small safety pin to the seam of your slip and you will not have a clingy skirt or dress.  Same thing works with slacks that cling when wearing panty hose.  Place pin in seam of slacks and static is gone.
  • Before you pour sticky substances into a measuring cup, fill with hot water.  Dump out hot water, but don’t dry cup.  Next add your ingredient, such as peanut butter.  Spraying with nonstick cooking spray works great too!
  • Add a teaspoon of water when browning ground beef.  It will help pull the grease away from the meat while cooking.
  • To really make scrambled eggs or omelets rich add a couple of spoonfuls of sour cream, cream cheese, or heavy cream in then beat them up. (of course, fat free!)


Lately, members have noticed that Costco (might also check Sam’s Club) has been carrying more and more chicken products and vegetarian products in their fresh deli section.  A very popular item has been Flame Broiled Spinach with Aged White Cheddar Chicken Patties by Sabatino’s (an actual Italian restaurant in Chicago, IL and Newport Beach, CA.  They are fully cooked, microwaveable, and gluten free .



Greek Yogurt is becoming very popular in the stores.  This yogurt is a great source of protein and very filling.  Here are some tips on how to use it from an article on  The article was written by Mary Elizabeth Hurn.

Here, staffers share their favorite uses for the versatile ingredient.

  1. Add chopped cucumbers, dill and a pinch of salt for a quick Greek tsatziki.
  2. Instead of milk or sweetened yogurts, toss some in your smoothie for a thicker texture.
  3. Try it as an alternative to heavy cream when making alfredo sauce for pasta.
  4. Mix with chocolate syrup for an easy fruit dip for a party platter.
  5. Add a pinch of salt for a rich substitute for sour cream.
  6. Stir in to a puréed vegetable soup to add thickness and protein.
  7. For a simple frozen yogurt, add chopped fruit and sweetener and put it in the freezer.
  8. Use it instead of mayo in chicken, tuna and egg salad.
  9. For a quick dessert, stir in light jam, raspberries, raisins, cinnamon or shredded coconut.
  10. Use it as a frosting for cake or cupcakes. Just add vanilla or almond extract and a bit of sweetener.
  11. Add spices and a bit of milk for a quick, guilt-free, creamy salad dressing.
  12. Try as a pre-grill marinade for chicken or lamb: a bit of yogurt, za’atar, lemon zest, pepper flakes and a pinch of salt.
  13. Add horseradish to make a fish or shrimp dip.
  14. Mix it with skim milk and use instead of buttermilk for pancakes.

My favorite thing to do with Greek yogurt (1/2 c) is to add some kind of sweetner (I use the plain, fat greek yogurt), unsweetened cocoa, thaw out some frozen strawberries, add 1 T. peanuts (approx. 10), 1 T. chocolate chips, 1 T. crushed pretzels and 1 T. sugar free chocolate sauce.  This makes for a great dessert!


This treat gets me through the afternoon if I am at my computer and wanting something.  Use one packet of Sugar Fat Free Diet Hot Cocoa Mix and make a cup and then add a packet of the new Starbuck’s Via, instant decaf coffee!


In keeping with the meeting theme this week, click here to get a very complete shopping list from Weight Watchers.

A another great Weight Watcher’s cheat sheet on beer!  I thought this would be helpful with the Super Bowl parties this next weekend.  Click here!

Here is a link to the Kansas City Star and the Parade Health section.  I have found some great articles here regarding various health tips.  Check it out!  Click here!

Click here and test your knowledge on coffee and caffeine from the Weight Watchers website.

This is an article from the Weight Watchers website which lists all the items that should be on your pantry list.  I would also include the following:

Low-cal barbecue sauce
Water chestnuts
Flavored olive oils such as roasted garlic or basil/rosemary flavored

Click here to read the article and get the list!

Click here to check out this complete Thanksgiving guide from


With Deviled Egg Day (Monday, November 2) coming up (yes, there is such a day), a great article from Weight Watchers regarding the “EGG!”  Some great recipes!  We have a tendency to forget about the egg!!!  Don’t forget the whites too and use them for omelets, scrambled, etc. or is that egg cetera!  Click here to read article!


The meetings have been talking a lot about Greek yogurt.  It is becoming very popular and I thought I would share a great article about the origin of this yogurt.   Due to the high prices of Greek Yogurt, I eat once in awhile as a dessert and treat!    There is a big difference between brands along with fat free and flavored.  Click here to read the article from the Kansas City Star/Houston Chronicle.

I love to mix any type of fat free plain Greek yogurt with a sweetner of some sort and add in a teaspoon or tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder.  Makes a very creamy chocolate type mousse.  1 cup:  20-23 grams of protein.  If you really want to try something yummy, add 1 to 2 T. of peanut butter powder for a really rich dessert.  A great way to get your milk serving in also!

This article:  “The Top 6 Weight Loss Lies” has to one of my favorite because we can all relate to one or more of these comments.  Two of the most popular ones are number 2, “I’ll get back on track on Monday or after the holiday and number 6:  “The Less I Eat, the Faster I will Lose.”  Be sure to read this article.  Click here!

Bread Dipping Spices – using on salads, on top of bulgur/couscous, vegetables, etc.  There are so many different flavors.  It is especially good on salad and then just use a tsp. of olive oil.  It is great flavor, without a lot of calories, and a great way to get one of your 1 tsp. of healthy oils a day!

Many of you were asking about the breakfast ideas we share in the meeting rooms.  I thought I would document a few of those so you may refer to later and use. Enjoy!

Also, click here for some more great ideas from Weight Watchers.

Another breakfast idea is the omelet in a bag!!  Love this idea!  How easy to make this in the a.m. and while you are getting dressed, the omelets could be cooking!
Take a gallon Ziploc bag and spray inside with nonstick cooking spray.  Then, take whatever (whole eggs or egg substitute or combination) and how many eggs and put in bag.  (I use primarily egg whites).  Zip bag shut and squish around to mix.  Open bag, and have already cutup, Canadian bacon or use bacon bits (out of the shaker bottle), mushrooms, green peppers, red peppers, onions, olives, fresh spinach, or anything else you would like in your omelet’s.  (I have also used Boca crumbles). Add to bag, zip shut.  Then, place bag in dutch oven with boiling water.  Cook for approximately 13-15 minutes.  Take out of bag and put on plate, and garish with nonfat cheddar cheese, nonfat sour cream, salsa, and avocado.

Spread 1 T. peanut butter or 2 T. peanut butter powder on a tortilla and slice an apple very thin on the tortilla.  Roll up and spray with butter spray, sprinkle cinnamon and little sugar or Splenda.  Bake in 350 oven for 8-10 minutes until golden brown.

Spread 1 T. peanut butter or 2 T. peanut butter powder on a tortilla and slice a banana and roll up and slice.

Take whole grain pancake and spread 1 T. peanut butter or 2 T. peanut butter powder on the pancake.  Top with another pancake.

Blend ½ c. fat free cottage cheese with 3 egg whites, and ¼ c. oatmeal.  Add cinnamon, Splenda and make one large pancake.

1 container Maple Brown Sugar Weight Watchers Oatmeal
¼ c. water
1 egg white
Mix all ingredients together in oatmeal cup.  Spray nonstick pan with nonstick cooking spray.  Pour batter in pan.  Cook for 2 minutes on each side.  Recipe makes one large pancake which tastes like French toast with maple syrup on it.  (NOTE:  I like to put my 1 tsp. of flaxseed oil on the pancake along with my sugar free syrup.  Also, you can use 3 egg white instead of the water, which give you more protein.
¼ c. oat bran
½ c. pumpkin
½ c. plain fat free yogurt
½. c. water
Artificial sweetener, Splenda (to taste)
Sugar free caramel syrup (optional, to taste)

I cook in microwave for 3 ½ minutes.  Once finished I add 1 tsp.
flaxseed oil and stir.  Enjoy!


Food Finds:

Jello Mousse Temptations – 3 flavors Caramel Crème, Dark Chocolate, and Chocolate Indulgence.   They are found in the refrigerator section of the grocery store.

Member brought in Bon Appetit seasoning spice from McCormicks.  She mixes with Weight Watchers cream cheese for a great dip for her veggies or WW pretzel thins or multi grain crisps

From our meeting last week, the most popular items brought in by members was in the bread category:  Oroweat Sandwich Thins and Flatout Artesian Wraps.

I always speak about almond butter.  I found at Costco, Almond Naturally More Butter.  It is wonderful with added flax seed and wheat germ.  It has 4 grams of fiber per 2 T.  But, 1 tablespoon is plenty.  Very filling!

Many members talk about True Lemon, Lime, and Orange flavoring for your water.  It comes in packets and isn’t artificially sweetened or flavored.

Emerald 100 Calorie Packs-Cocoa Roast Almonds – 7 packs in a box.

Western Alternative Bagel:  Members are always talking about this great source for bagels, pitas, etc.  Their products can be found at Hy Vee in the health food freezer section.   Click here for more info.

Natural Ovens Bread.  It is made in Wisconsin and is featured in the movie:  Supersize Me.  Each slice of bread has 5 g. protein and 4 g. fiber and made with omega 3s.  Click here to see their bread.

Starkist Tuna in the Pouches, It comes in various flavors but my favorite is Herb and Garlic.  Serve over a large bed of salad.  Very tasty!  Great source of protein.

Wheat Berries and Groats.

Be sure to try various nut butters.  Some to try:
Almond Butter
Soy Butter
Chocolate Soy Butter
Sunflower Seed Butter (my favorite)
Cashew Butter
Hazelnut Butter
Great in protein and essential fatty acids.  Just be careful with portion sizes.

Quinoa (keen-wa): Another great filler food.

Check out different recipes for this super food!  It is a filler food, actually a seed (plant) but grouped with the grains, 8 complete amino acids, versatile, chock full of protein (highest plant source with protein), and easy to prepare.  Usually I prepare with 2 cups water to 1 one cup quinoa.  And, boil for approximately 15 minutes.  You can also toast first, which enhances the flavor.  Also, be sure to rinse the quinoa.  It has a soapy covering called saponin, which makes it bitter tasting.  This is the way Mother Nature protects is from birds and insects.

Jolly Time popcorn in the microwavable bag, and it is awesome.

AmyLu Sausages – They can be found at Costco/Sam’s Club for 21 for approximately $13.00.

Quorn:   What veggie crumbles are to ground beef quorn is to chicken. They also have quorn strips, breaded cutlets with cheese, and nuggets.  You will find in the health food freezer section of the grocery store. Bright orange bags!

Oat Bran:  Many of you have asked about how I prepare oat bran.  I eat it for breakfast and use the following:
¼ c. oat bran
½ c. pumpkin
½ c. plain fat free yogurt
½. c. water
Artificial sweetner, Splenda (to taste)
Sugar free caramel syrup (optional, to taste)
I cook in microwave for 3 ½ minutes.  Once finished I add 1 tsp.
flaxseed oil and stir.  Enjoy!

* Frozen triple berries – blackberries, strawberries, raspberries
* Peanut Butter Powder – regular or chocolate
* WW Garden Veggie Soup
* No More Naked Popcorn Seasoning
* VitaTops/Vitamuffins

* Bulgur – Depending on how many cups you want to make, you boil 1 c. water and pour over 1 c. raw bulgur.  Cover and let sit for at least an hour, then it’s ready to eat.  You can heat or eat as a salad, etc.  It is one of the most versatile foods.  You can use as for breakfast, salad, add to soup, add to omelets, eat as a side dish, etc.  Very filling!

Previous Tips, Food Finds and Ideas:

I received this film clip from my PR email I receive each day.  It is from a news station in Minnesota that is doing WW as a challenge among 5 staff members.  I found the interviews with the 5 staff members very interesting.  See if you hear yourself in these interviews and insights.  Click here

Going along with our topics from the last couple of weeks and how to save money, here is a website with some great links to coupon sites.  Click here!

This is a great article from Weight Watchers website. It is how to eat well but fairly inexpensive.  I never have broken down my meals with the cost per serving like this article has done.  Get some great ideas.  Click here to read the article.

I love this article about your health and money.  As most of you know, Rick and I facilitate a financial course.  We have been extremely rewarded in helping people with their financial parts of their lives.  Believe it or not, your weight and your money are identical on many different fronts.  I heard one of the best quotes from Dave Ramsey, financial advisor and syndicated talk show host (radio and TV), is that your money is all about 80% behavior and 20% knowledge.  Isn’t this the same with your weight?  If you get one of these areas under control in your life, the other parts will follow.  Be sure to check out this article from

Article on Suze Orman and money and weight loss behaviors.  Click here to read.

Okay, someone sent this to me and it is totally disgusting.  It puts food in a total different perspective.  Notice the pizza in a cone, doesn’t look too bad?????  Click here to take a look at some of the outrageous and disgusting food finds.  Maybe we could bring in for a food find?????

Now, I just couldn’t send you that site of disgusting foods without giving you a great article on something that is a healthier alternative.  What is healthier than salmon?  So, many of us turn away from salmon because of its high fat content.  But, it is the healthy kind of fat, Omega 3-fatty acids, plus it is also very high in protein and vitamin D.  Here is a salmon article from Weight Watcher’s website.  Click here to read.  This is also another website I found that gives you everything you always wanted to know about salmon but didn’t even know enough to ask.  You can do this for all other kind of foods too!  Click here.

I always find myself eating more salads.  I found this article most helpful:  “Everything you ever wanted to know about lettuce, but afraid to ask!” Click here to view article.
Ever wonder how to peel a potato.  You are never going to believe this video featuring Mary Ann from Gilligan’s Island.  I am going to have to try this trick!  Click here to watch this video.

Another great article about Managing Our Environment.  This happens to be one of our own Tools for Living and will be talking about in the meeting room this week.  If we setup our environment to be healthy will only help us achieve our ultimate goal:  to be healthy and at our ideal healthy weight.  Be sure to read the article on food storage, great tips!  Click here to learn these valuable tips.

Be sure to check out this website from Weight Watchers Smart Ones.  It has some tips on cooking, recipes, videos, coupons, etc.  Click here to go to the website.

This article is about late night snacking.  When it comes to eating healthier, this seems to be a struggle for many people.  Ask yourself why???  Click here to read the article.

I thought with St. Patrick’s Day you would like to 29 great tips and facts about beer.  Click here for an article from with some great information.

This is a great interactive article about one of our favorite beverages:  Coffee.  How fun is this!  I checked out the points of my favorite beverage:  Decaf Café Americano:  0 SP!  Sometimes, I have the sugar free syrups:  ½ SF Caramel and ½ SF Cinnamon Dolce.  It is a wonderful drink and no SP!!  Click here to read.

This is a good article about packing your own lunches.  We have packed lunches for years in our house.  Some tips include:  I make different sandwiches ahead of time, usually on Sundays.  Then, I freeze them.  I pack the lunch the night before and place the frozen sandwich in the lunch bag overnight.  It is ready to go the next day.  I freeze everything except pickles, lettuce, etc.  Also, a great tip from Jerry in Lenexa, he brought in a food find that would be great for brown bag lunches:  Walmart sells individual veggies in a bowl.  They are four to a pack for approximately $1.70.  They come different varieties, and what a great way to get some veggies in your lunch or snack.  Don’t forget the salsa and green beans snack.  Heat up a can of green beans, once finished, I spray a little spray butter, and top with salsa.  Yum!!!  Also, when I pack the lunches at our house, I think of the different food groups.  My husband’s lunch usually consists of a sandwich or soup, whole grain crackers, fruit, a yogurt, and a sweet item. Right now is a great time to be packing lunches, you can save so much money and points!!!!  Happy packing!  Click here for a great article on packing lunches!

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